A moving saga of love and remembrance.

LOST LETTER

A woman cares for her dying mother and learns about long-buried family history in this absorbing drama.

Mary McDougal is on the brink of making partner at her Manhattan accounting firm when she learns that her 77-year-old mother Maggie has been stricken with pancreatic cancer and has just a few months to live. Mary is grief-stricken, but she struggles to cope with Maggie’s disease in the calmly therapeutic manner that the medical establishment prescribes for the end of life. She prevails upon the prickly Maggie to move into her apartment, where she buckles down to helping her strong-willed mother through pain, forgetfulness and a terrifying physical decline. There are clashes, misunderstandings and tears, but mother and daughter also grow closer through their shared ordeal as they take stock of their life together and Maggie starts to tell stories about Mary’s father Jimmy, who never returned from World War II. (Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the two women, the Army has discovered a 60-year-old letter from Jimmy to Maggie and is trying, with all the ponderous determination of military bureaucracy, to deliver it to her.) Mulligan tells this tale with sensitivity and skill, and the domestic scenes with Mary and Maggie have a quiet, subtle realism that finely evokes the anguish and solace that families take from the experience of dying. Woven through their present-day trials as a counterpoint is the happy narrative of Maggie’s wartime romance with Jimmy. To the author’s credit, this subplot is a vivid recreation of a working-class Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, full of hardship but also hope, as Maggie and Jimmy make plans for the future. (In yet another register, Mulligan renders Jimmy’s experience of the Battle of the Bulge with terrifying immediacy.) Writing with a wonderfully evocative prose style, Mulligan takes his characters through sorrow to a luminous redemption.

A moving saga of love and remembrance.

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4392-2636-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • IndieBound Bestseller

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more